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Cougar response to roads and predatory behaviour in southwestern Alberta

  • Author / Creator
    Banfield, Jeremiah E
  • In western North America cougar populations are increasing and expanding eastward. Simultaneously, growing human populations are creating new challenges for managers charged with maintaining the viability of cougar populations and their ungulate prey. Information on how cougars respond to human-dominated landscapes and interact with their prey will aid managers in balancing the effects of growing cougar populations with the wishes of growing human populations. Using resource selections functions, I examined cougar responses to roads of varying traffic volumes. Cougars selected rugged terrain presumably to insulate themselves from roads with greater traffic. When assessing impacts of expanding road networks, more attention should be given to roadside topography. Using fine-scale movement and activity data, I examined cougar predatory behaviour. Cougars employed an active stalking style of predation, moving throughout the landscape to locate, stalk, and kill prey. Future models of predator-prey dynamics should consider the cougar’s active style of predation.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2012-09
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R37Q4S
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Specialization
    • Ecology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Boyce, Mark (Biological Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Boyce, Mark (Biological Sciences)
    • Lewis, Mark (Biological Sciences)
    • Schindler, David (Biological Sciences)